Convinced she knew nothing that could be used against Swartz, Norton at first cooperated with the prosecutors.
When I read the line above I already knew the story
After reading her story, all I can say is that she and Swartz made the same mistake: being stupid enough to believe that they were smart enough to outwit a determined adversary with almost unlimited resources.
Prisons are full of people with that attitude. It doesn't matter if you're smarter than the guy across the table from you. You won't be smarter than a roomful of people just like him who are working together to take you down.
I am not saying that the prosecutors are not responsible for what happened to Mr. Swartz, they do.
Aaron Swartz is responsible for what happened to Aaron Swartz. Yes, the Feds played hard and dirty, but they didn't invent those tactics with Swartz. When you taunt a rattlesnake, you don't blame the rattlesnake for doing what a rattlesnake does when it bites you.
Aaron Swartz deliberately set out to commit an act of civil disobedience without thinking through the consequences. According to Norton, Swartz desired a career in politics (another indication of his naivete; I could hardly think of anyone less suited for it), and was deathly afraid of what a felony conviction would do to his prospects. Yet instead of keeping his nose squeaky clean (particularly given his interactions with the Feds after the PACER incident), he pulled a stunt that put him squarely in their sights once again. Did he even think to talk to a lawyer before he started downloading the JSTOR database? Apparently not. His ego and his hubris were his downfall.
But Ms. Norton herself ought to be brave enough to admit that because of her own fucked up cocky attitude that led her to think that she could outsmart the prosecutors (and that she talked)
Unfortunately, Swartz pulled her into his mess the moment he called her up for bail money. The fact that he failed to even anticipate the possibility of arrest, and make provisions beforehand, shows just how dumb a smart person can be.
I also had to laugh when I read Norton's account of how she "outwitted" and "infuriated" the prosecutors during her grand jury testimony. She should spend more time around lawyers, and watch how their courtroom "rage" gets turned on and off like a switch. They won the game just by making her life miserable, and making sure Swartz knew about it. Getting an indictment from the grand jury would have just been icing on the cake for them.
But frankly I think she should stop kicking herself for telling the Feds about the manifesto. It was a public document, for God's sake. Swartz was a jerk for blaming her for talking about something he was supposedly proud to put his name to. Everyone is looking for someone to blame, but she did the best she thought she could with a situation she had no control over.
This is a sad, sad case of two smart people who simply weren't nearly as smart as they thought they were. If nothing else, Swartz's death may at least cause some other starry-eyed idealist to think twice before he or she kicks the hornets' nest.